If you ask around, you’ll find that most people think positively about fluoride. It has certainly played a pivotal role in reducing the need for fillings and improving dental health. Most dentists seem to love it and give it to us any chance they get.

However, there’s a dark side to the gleaming whiteness in our toothpaste. It turns out that fluoride may have a role in the prevalence of hypothyroidism and poor thyroid health.

It has a chemical structure that is similar to iodine, which means that thyroid hormone can sometimes not find free receptors (as they are taken up by fluoride) and this means that thyroid hormone isn’t produced. Thyroid hormone is super important and has significant effects on:

  • Metabolism and weight  
  • Cholesterol levels
  • Concentration and focus
  • Sleep
  • Heart function
  • Digestion and absorption
  • Hormone balance (including menstrual cycles, fertility, and pregnancy)

There are some other compounds that also steal thyroid hormone’s spots on the receptors – bromide which is found in some types of flour (and therefore in some breads) and mercury (most commonly found in large fish like tuna).

So, should I use a fluoride-free toothpaste?

Well, I don’t use a fluoride toothpaste and haven’t had any problems so far. I don’t want my kids to use one either, especially while they are very young, and prone to swallowing large amounts of the toothpaste.

What about tuna?

I would recommend eating it no more than once a week, and not at all in pregnancy.

And brominated flour?

This seems to be more common in countries other than the UK, but keep an eye on the ingredients now we’re out of the EU.

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